Friday, November 23, 2007

From the handover department:

Cunard reports Queen Victoria will be handed over to them tomorrow at Fincantieri's yard in Marghera. The ship won't sail for Southampton until November 30, however.

While in most ships' cases, the actual handover is a low-key business transaction, much like closing on a house, Cunard is planning to make the handover into a major event that will include the Italian Prime Minister, the British Under Secretary of State, and the band of the Scots Guards, flown in for the occasion.

The ship will arrive in Southampton at 9:30am on December 7. It will be named there on December 10 and depart on its maiden voyage at 5pm on December 11.

M/V Explorer Sinking

The M/V Explorer is sinking in the Antarctic off the South Shetland Islands after the ship reportedly struck something underwater. Reports say all 100 passengers and 50 of the 52 crew members were evacuated into lifeboats and are being picked up by other ships arriving on the scene. The captain and first officer have remained onboard for the time being, and at last report, the ship was listing at 25 degrees.

A spokesperson for the tour operator which had chartered the ship, said the 2,400-ton ship had struck ice off King George Island and it had opened a gash in the hull several inches wide. She said that pumps were being used in an effort to stop the sinking, but a Coast Guard spokesperson said the ship is expected to sink.

Officials were first advised at 12:24am, eastern standard time in the US. The 1969-built is owned by Toronto-based GAP Adventures.

UPDATE 8pm: Reports are now quoting a Chilean navy spokesperson as saying the ship has completely sunk. All passengers and crew members had been safely evacuated and rescued before the sinking.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

From the expansion department:

Princess Cruises announced today that when Dawn Princess goes to Australia in the fall of 2008, it would not be returning to North America as originally scheduled. It will remain in Australia indefinitely to continue the line's expansion there. Earlier this year, Princess announced a major expansion "down under" when they said Sun Princess would remain there to service the locally-sourced market with a product tailored for the Australian market. Like Sun Princess, Dawn Princess will still be available for sale worldwide. Together Sun and Dawn Princess in their new market will offer some interesting itinerary choices not available before for customers in North America, including a lengthy season on Australia's west coast.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Passenger missing from Discovery Sun

A woman passenger was reported missing from Discovery Sun, a 9,900-ton casino ship/ferry that operates between Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades) and Freeport. She was last seen by her companion Sunday evening about 9:30pm. She was reported missing about 10:30pm. The Coast Guard is searching.

Update 5pm: The woman's body washed up on a Hollywood beach today. The county medical examiner has ruled her death a suicide.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Norwegian Majesty Delayed

It seems like the deck was stacked against Norwegian Majesty this weekend. The ship's return from Bermuda to Charleston was first delayed when the ship rescued a sailboater. Then the ship ran into heavy weather which slowed its speed.

As a result turnaround in Charleston was delayed from Saturday to Sunday. The result is that Saturday's sailing (November 17) will depart on Sunday and be shortened to six nights. The revised itinerary will call at Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's private island) and Key West.

From the Superferry department:

The legal obstacles have been removed (at least temporarily), and the Hawaii Superferry has finally been able to set a new launch date of December 1 for the start of their service between Oahu and Maui. The line is offering an introductory fare of $29 per person, each way.

Service between Oahu and Kauai, part of the original plan, will start at a later date.

More information is available on the line's website.